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Match Previews

Spotlight on the opposition | Sutton United

26 March 2022

We welcome Sutton United to Vale Park looking to extend our home unbeaten run to eight games.

In the Dugout

39-year-old Matt Gray is in charge of the U’s where he was first appointed as a coach in December 2018. At the end of that season, long-term boss Paul Doswell resigned and Gray was given the interim job for the last game of the season and in the summer the role was made permanent. It took him just two seasons to get Sutton into the EFL for the first time in their history.

Completely dominant' - Sutton United boss Matt Gray had this to say about  his side's win over Hartlepool United | Hartlepool Mail

Man with the Armband

Midfielder Craig Eastmond captains Sutton having made over 200 appearances for the club. Growing up in Battersea he started his youth career at Millwall in 2000 before moving to Arsenal’s youth setup two years later. He made four professional appearances for Arsenal and spent loan spells at Millwall and Wycombe Wanderers.

In 2012 he went on loan to Colchester United scoring two goals and moved there permanently a year later. He left the club in 2015 and moved to Yeovil but only made one appearance and moved to Sutton in the same year. This season Eastmond has played 33 games in all competitions scoring once and assisting once. He has picked up eight yellow cards and two red cards.

Exclusive: Sutton United star Craig Eastmond hoping to freeze out Arsenal  in FA Cup clash | Football | Sport | Express.co.uk

Star Man

Summer signing Joe Kizzi fought his way into the side earlier in the season and has been excellent in the right-back position. Kizzi has come through non-league to reach the EFL with Sutton. He has played for teams such as Cheshunt, Billericay Town and Bromley before he moved the Sutton. The 28-year-old has made 34 appearances in all competitions scoring five, assisting three and picking up four yellow cards.

Joe Kizzi and Matt Gray nominated for monthly awards - News - Sutton United

Top Scorer

Forward Isaac Olaofe has been side-lined with an injury since early February but has scored eight goals in 25 appearances across three competitions. His last goal came in late January away to Carlisle United in a 2-0 win.

Isaac Olaofe interview: Studying for a degree, inspiring others and making  history with Sutton - newsatden.co.uk

Last time out and recent form

Sutton had won two, lost two and drawn one of their last five games. The two defeats both came away from home at Walsall and Swindon Town. They got a well-earned point at home to Tranmere Rovers. The London team booked their place at Wembley in the Papa John’s Trophy beating Sky Bet League One side Wigan Athletic on penalties. In their last game they travelled north to face Oldham.

Ricky Korboa put Sutton ahead on 20 minutes before doubling the visitor’s lead four minutes into the second-half. Harry Beautyman put the game out of sight with a 77th minute penalty but Oldham did get a late consolation goal through Will Sutton.


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